Preston Smith   DE   Mississippi St


I think Preston has a load of untapped potential. He has the size, with the long arms and legs you look for in a pass rusher, and has very good athletic talent to improve and be even more impacting than he has been at the college level. He shows in his workouts the agility to dip his shoulder and turn the corner along with the strength to bull rush. Those are the pass rushing skills needed to impact as a complete pass rusher at the next level. He does a solid job against the run because he has long arms that he uses to keep his opponent off his body to shed and make tackles in the hole. Preston has the size and athletic talent to play as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense and also has enough athletic talent to play as OLB/DE in a 3-4 defense although he should be used attacking the line of scrimmage more than dropping off into coverage.

I think it will take time for Preston to play without thinking and to play with more reaction and certainty. He also needs to get into a pro style strength and conditioning program. Thatís doesnít mean the kid isnít in shape; it just means for his size I think he needs a different style of program that will improve his flexibility and overall stamina. Add to that the opportunity to learn better hand techniques and Preston should become a very good overall defensive player.

Preston might take a year or two to show his impact, but I have no doubt that he will impact and become a complete defensive lineman who could easily get double digit sacks and become an asset against the run. Heís the type of player if he gets to free agency, there should be a bidding war to sign him because he will be just hitting his peak at that time. My thinking is (if Iím right) Preston will become an important cog in your defense at first and then if that team is smart try to sign him to an extension before he hits the free agency. He looks to be the type of player who, barring injuries, will just get better and better every year and thatís the type of player you want for your defense to continue to get better and better every year also. Preston has all the size and athletic talent to become an impact/core player for the team that selects him.

Drew Boylhart